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Edtech Advocacy &
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Grading With Equity in Mind

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Location: Virtual
Experience live: All-Access Package Year-Round PD Package Virtual Lite
Watch recording: All-Access Package Year-Round PD Package Virtual Lite

Participate and share : Interactive session

Dr. Steven Gregor  
Matthew Hiefield  
Dr. Mary Townsend  

We will hold roundtable-style discussions about best practices for grading with equity in mind as well as the issues teachers and schools face when trying to shift from compliance grading to equity. We will explore lesson design for mastery, culturally responsive teaching practices and examples of digital tools.

Audience: Teachers, Curriculum/district specialists, Principals/head teachers
Skill level: Intermediate
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: A Nearpod Code will be provided at the start for attendees to join.
Topic: Equity and inclusion
Grade level: PK-12
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Use technology to create, adapt and personalize learning experiences that foster independent learning and accommodate learner differences and needs.
  • Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.
  • Use technology to design and implement a variety of formative and summative assessments that accommodate learner needs, provide timely feedback to students and inform instruction.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The purpose of this workshop is to help educators examine the ways conventional grading practices often punish students instead of measuring students' true academic ability and growth, and to shift toward equitable grading practices.

The objective of our workshop is to provide educators with high impact tools they can use to take manageable first steps toward creating a more equitable, culturally relevant, and bias-resistant educational experience for their students.

Technology: Our presentation is device and tool agnostic. The tools teachers use may be a learning management system, Google Docs or similar tools for providing multiple pathways toward demonstrating their progress, the process they may use and the product they may produce.

Instructional Activities: We will use a roundtable format for our presentation and will work through the issues teachers face when trying to make these changes.

Evidence of Success: Teachers will come out of our workshop with a better understanding of how to use tech tools to build on equitable grading practices.


Examples of 4 and 5 point rubrics compared to the 100 point grading scale.
Examples of how to transition to more equitable grading practices.
How this is being used in one school district.
How it is being transitioned in another district.
How it can be done on a teacher-level to make small changes.

5 minute intro of presenters and the problem conventional grading practices
5 minute poll of attendees and their experience with grading for equity and job roles.
20 minute breakout session by roles, round table discussions.
15 minutes to debrief and discuss next steps.
Lots of interactions with the attendees. Lots of questions and answers from the presenters and attendees. Time for attendees to talk with one another in like-role breakouts.

Supporting research

A Century of Grading Research: Meaning and Value in the Most Common Educational Measure:

Undoing the Traditions of Grading and Reporting:

Townsend, M. B. (July 2021). How and What We Grade Matters: Grading for Mastery. ISTE Equity Blog.

Feldman, T. (2018). Grading for Equity. Sage Publications.
Gusky, T. (2020). Get! Set! Go! Creating Successful Grading and Reporting Systems. Solution Tree Press
Gusky, T. (2015). On Your Mark. Solution Tree Press.
Gusky.T & Brookhart, S. (2019). What We Know About Grading: What Works, What Doesn't, and What's Next. ASCD.
Hammond, Z. (2015). Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain: Promoting Authentic Engagement and Rigor Among Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students. Corwin.

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Dr. Steven Gregor, Washington Township Public Schools

Dr. Steve Gregor began his career as a high school social studies teacher and later as staff technology trainer in New Jersey public schools. He has also served as curriculum supervisor, middle school principal, and currently Director of Education. He earned his doctoral degree in Instructional Technology and Distance Education from Nova Southeastern University. His doctoral research focused on the impact of educational social networking on student learning in 2014. He continues his research in field of how distance education can close equity gaps for economically challenged and minoritized students.

Matthew Hiefield, Beaverton School District

Matt Hiefield (MAT) has 25 years of experience teaching high school Social Studies and is currently a digital curator and Social Studies TOSA for the Beaverton School District. He facilitates the District’s Digital Equity Team and is passionate about digital divide issues and how the lack of home broadband internet access affects both teaching and learning. He also facilitates Latino Parent Technology Nights in an effort to address the digital use divide.

ISTE Certified Educator

I am a high school social studies teacher and digital peer coach from Minnesota. I have a doctorate in educational leadership with a specialization in educational technology.

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